Wetherspoon toasts rise in sales

Wetherspoon lifted profits, despite what its chairman described as 'rising stealth taxes'. Picture: Jane Barlow
Wetherspoon lifted profits, despite what its chairman described as 'rising stealth taxes'. Picture: Jane Barlow
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PUBS group JD Wetherspoon impressed investors with some of the best sales figures from the sector in recent times, as founder chairman Tim Martin again attacked the disparity on VAT with the supermarket sector.

Martin revealed that the 800-strong group saw like-for-like sales jump 6.3 per cent in the 13 weeks to 28 April. Wetherspoon, which has 40 Scottish pubs, said in the 39 weeks to 28 April like-for-like sales rose 6.7 per cent, while the operating margin in the most recent quarter lifted to 8.5 per cent from 8.3 per cent in the first half.

Martin said: “The biggest dangers to the pub industry are the VAT disparity between supermarkets and pubs and the continuing imposition of stealth taxes such as the late-night levy and increased fruit/slot machine taxes.”

Wetherspoon’s shares closed unchanged at 594p.